A widening ‘Value Gap’ has opened between members’ perception of the benefits they get from their Membership Organisation, and the benefits and opportunities actually provided to them.
This is the first in a series of articles about how membership organisations can plug the value gap. You can download your free copy of the eBook here >>
This ‘Value Gap’ threatens to swallow the hard-won membership base of even the most established membership organisation. It can also significantly limit the success of its member acquisition efforts.
Tackling the problem
The ramifications of this ‘Value Gap’ in terms of member acquisition and member retention are huge, especially in the hyper-competitive world of membership organisations. A 1/4 of existing Members said they would not renew their membership as they felt their organisation offered too little benefit.
How to Fill the ‘Value Gap’?
The most crucial, overlooked tool for demonstrating and communicating true value to members is the organisation’s website.
Every Membership Organisation’s website must capture what it means to belong to that community. Sadly, senior management is often unaware of the full potential of their organisation’s website to drive member acquisition and member retention.
The Value Spectrum
Value is more than membership perks. It’s a multi-faceted concept.
- Membership Organisations need to clearly articulate what their vision for the world is, which will benefit their members.
- Then, Membership Organisations must clearly communicate how they will act on behalf of their members to achieve that vision.
- Finally, Membership Organisations need to demonstrate a clear Return on Investment (ROI) for the membership fee applied.
This will include benefits and related opportunities accessed through membership, in addition to linking back to that core vision and purpose.
Doing this will satisfy the growing demand for authenticity, purpose and impact – all forms of value – that Member Organisations must provide to keep members fully engaged.
This clear message will help form that all-important emotional connection with audiences – crucial for member acquisition and member retention.
Research shows those with an emotional connection to an organisation are deeply loyal, showing a massive increase in lifetime value.
Your Website’s Role in Value Perception
Member Organisation websites are failing if they don’t convey the value – not the cost or even the benefits, but value – of being a member…all in a matter of seconds.
Methodically planned websites that put simplicity and efficiency at the heart of the user experience are what will immediately address the ‘Value Gap’.
This is most effectively achieved by engaging a Digital Partner that will create a wireframe to ensure the optimum hierarchy and structure of the site, and test ‘user’ (i.e. Member) journeys to make every website visit count.
By carefully selecting a Digital Partner who uses marketing frameworks such as the revolutionary StoryBrand, which applies the art of storytelling to communications, you ensure your Membership Organisation’s core message – and value proposition – is clearly conveyed.
In doing this, a Digital Partner can build a website that really ‘speaks’ to members and resonates with them to generate the emotional spark needed to keep them engaged.
Equally, strategies such as reminding members about membership benefits via their dashboards or SEO-optimised content means organisations never make the mistake of presuming members know the value of membership.
Tackling the ‘Value Gap’ might seem daunting but with the right approach to website structure, design and functionality, that gap can be not only minimised but Membership Organisations who adopt this approach can gain competitive advantage.
It can be useful to ask yourself
- Does our website provide a similar intuitive digital experience to the apps I use daily?
- Am I convinced our website clearly communicates the value our membership brings?
- Do I know, right now, what last month’s website analytics tell us about our members’ favourite webpages and preferences?
We’re on a mission to support and empower membership organisations creating a free guide specific to membership organisations.
It condenses all of the experiential knowledge we have gained from helping other membership organisations understand their website’s role in value perception – and how even small website tweaks can boost member acquisition, engagement and retention.